Barnsley-born Olympic champion Ed Clancy and Paralympic legend Sarah Storey are among the cyclists expected to race around the streets of the town this evening.

The third Barnsley Town Centre Races, also known as the Barnsley Crit, is organised by Barnsley Road Club.  Clancy, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in the team pursuit, is scheduled to compete in the town where he was born.

Organiser Chris Lawrence said: “It’s great to have such big names set to compete in the event, and Ed is local to us so it adds even more interest. It would be great for the people of Barnsley to see one of their own, who has achieved so much, racing around the streets of the town. 

“We won’t know until the day who will definitely compete but Ed’s name has been submitted by his team. There are no World Championships or Olympics this year and he’s been competing in some similar events to this. There are some other really good cyclists set to compete as well. Both the men’s and women’s races will have more than 90 competitors and the racing should be really high class.”

The final two events will be part of the Men’s National Circuit Series and Women’s National Women’s Circuit Series.  They will both be broadcast live on YouTube by British Cycling then shown on Eurosport at a later date.  Lawrence hopes plenty of people will see the cycling live as well.

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He said: “We’re hoping for about 1,500 spectators. We want the crowds to grow every year. The first time, it rained all night but the event still drew a decent crowd. Last year was a bigger crowd and we’re hoping for more this time.”

Lawrence believes town centre businesses will thrive because of the races. He said: “We wanted to add a wider value to the event for this year.  “We have a teepee in Mandela Gardens with a bar in it, and more food stalls than previously.  It’s a big event in the town and it’s always a bumper night for town centre businesses like restaurants and bars. It’s much busier than any normal Friday.”

The event begins at 4pm with a community ride.  Lawrence said: “The community ride is free of charge and a real family event. But we need to stress that everyone who turns up must be wearing a helmet.” After under 12, under 14 and under 16 races, a senior amateur race will be followed by the elite women’s and men’s races at 7.30pm and 8.30pm respectively.